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Mario Balotelli criticised over ban

AC Milan’s assistant coach Mauro Tassotti has added his voice to the widespread condemnation of Mario Balotelli for his red card at the conclusion of the Rossoneri’s 2-1 defeat to Napoli on Sunday.

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The Italy international has been banned for three games -- one automatic suspension for what was a second yellow card picked up after the 90 minutes had ended, plus two games for insulting and intimidating the referee.

Milan are to appeal the ban, which for a second season running deprives them of Balotelli for a Serie A clash with Juventus, but Tassotti says Balotelli’s behaviour is nevertheless inexcusable.

“Maybe Mario made a mistake, I don’t know what he said, but the referees were clear when we met them at the start of the season and players have got to be better behaved when they speak to them,” Tassotti told Milan Channel. “These are the rules and they must be respected.”

Balotelli was frustrated at several missed chances and the fact he missed the first penalty in his career having converted 21 in a row.

Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina said he had “studied” Balotelli’s technique and that his stop was “the most important penalty save of my career.” On Napoli’s website, the Spanish custodian added: “This win and penalty save are dedicated to the fans who followed us to San Siro.


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